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 Could Homefront really happen?

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BzarOne
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Join date : 2011-01-19
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PostSubject: Could Homefront really happen?   Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:06 pm

THQ's upcoming shooter, Homefront, has started to gain more attention in the industry after it was announced a few weeks ago that it would use dedicated servers for multiplayer. There are literally dozens of shooters out there so newcomers to the genre without "Halo" or "Call of Duty" in their title need something to set themselves apart from the rest of the flock. Although using dedicated servers is a nice plus, the game's campaign mode and unique story is probably what has generated the most buzz so far.

The backstory of Homefront goes something like this: North Korea accrues over one thousand nuclear tipped missiles in 2011. Kim Jong-il dies (probably from old age) so his son Kim Jong-un takes over. Within the next year, North Korea "unites" with South Korea. The timeline continues two years later when gas prices jump to $20 a gallon in 2015 and America becomes destabilized. Soon the entire United States economy collapses due to civil unrest and the devaluation of the dollar.

Japan is forced to surrender to the "Greater Korean Republic" after being threatened with nuclear annihilation for some reason and Korea starts militarily annexing several other countries in Asia. It doesn't end there. Korea then invades and occupies the Untied States! The player takes on the role of a regular civilian that joins the American resistance and must utilize a variety of guerilla tactics throughout the game.

While many FPS video games exaggerate the threat of something that is (or could be) real in order to tell a compelling story, Homefront is obviously an elaborate fiction. It gets to be more and more absurd as the timeline unfolds and many gamers have expressed concerns that Homefront's story is simply too unbelievable.

Dr. Robert Kane, an Associate Professor of History at Niagara University with a background in Asian Studies explains just how far-fetched the plot of Homefront really is:

"The game assumes no responsive capabilities by the United States. For example, simply allowing North Korea to absorb South Korea, a democratic US ally with a vibrant capitalist economy, in the next two years would never happen, no matter how many nukes North Korea acquires. The 1,000 missiles in 2011 part is just not plausible either...the USSR had far more than that during the Cold War and could never coerce the US into capitulating."

So what is the United States military supposed to be doing during all of this? The game's timeline says that by 2026, the military is scattered after communications are knocked out from a surprise EMP attack (apparently this also makes them useless). Even if this were to happen, why would they have sat idly by for 15 years while Korea forcibly annexed countries in Asia left and right? It just wouldn't happen.

Dr. Kane also points out that a nation with no blue water navy would be incredibly hard-pressed to even get to the United States, let alone invade and occupy it:

"...even though the Japanese Empire encompassed a fifth of the globe in 1942, it never came close to capturing either (Hawaii or San Francisco), which was simply beyond its capabilities."

If a powerful empire like Japan could not even capture Hawaii during World War II, how then can gamers simply assume that North Korea, a country with a GDP comparable to Ethiopia, could ever hope to capture the entire United States?

Tae Kim, a former CIA agent who helped consult on Homefront said in an interview last year, "...when you look at the storyline step by step, every step is a coin flip but a plausible step. So once you get there, it's plausible."

A coin flip, eh? Gamers can only suspend their disbelief up to a certain point. After that, the game starts to become too implausible to even enjoy. Believability is a necessary ingredient for gamers to become fully immersed in the story of a game. Even the wildest science fiction games have a kernel of truth to them because they are set so far in the future - who knows what scientific advancements and discoveries will happen by then. Maybe the plot of this game could happen in a hundred years, but in the next decade? No way.

Homefront was written by John Milius, who also co-wrote the movie Red Dawn. If you have never seen it before, the movie is about America being invaded by the Soviets. You would think that John would have gotten this story out of his system the first time around but apparently that isn't the case. It worked once (the movie grossed nearly $40 million at the box office) but can re-hashing a story and making it even more ridiculous be as successful?

The game is scheduled for release in North America on March 8th for Xbox 360, PS3, Steam, Windows Live PC, and OnLive.



Continue reading on Examiner.com: Could Homefront really happen? - National Xbox 360 | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/xbox-360-in-national/could-homefront-really-happen#ixzz1BdCqZPoq
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